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Free art exhibition created by young adults on show at Gala Gallery

Oct 12, 2022 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Colourful artworks created by young adults who need additional support have gone on show as part of a free exhibition.

We Can We Will, by The Wider World Project, will be displayed at Gala Gallery in Durham City, which is run by Durham County Council, until Friday 30 December.

The exhibition follows months of art workshops led by North East artist Dawn Felicia Knox, which have been held at Gala Durham, Wharton Park and Belmont Community Centre since May. The project has been funded by the council.

The project was developed after the group took part in sessions based on the work of the late Norman Cornish at the gallery in 2019. Members continued to create artwork following this with a small photography exhibition at their base at Belmont Community Centre.

Dawn was contacted to run sessions for We Can We Will.

Workshops focused on multimedia art, specifically around photography, painting, creative writing and film.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “It is great to see such bright and engaging artworks created as part of the project. We’re pleased that we’ve been able to fund the various workshops which those involved have enjoyed immensely.

“Well done to everyone on the brilliant art that has been produced.”

Project members have already had the chance to see their work after attending a special preview event at Gala Gallery alongside family and friends. They were also involved in hanging the artwork and curating the show in the gallery.

Speaking about their work going on display, one member said: “I love all the photos of my friends. It was overwhelming to see everyone in the Gala.”

Another said of the workshop sessions: “We want to be seen, be a part of the local community and make a difference in the world we live in.”

Dawn said: “It was an honour and a joy work with the group and share the skills needed to help them realise their vision.”

The Wider World Project helps young adults aged 16 to 35 in County Durham who have additional support needs. The scheme helps members to engage in activities which support with developing skills, self-esteem, confidence and promote positive disability awareness.

The exhibition can be seen free of charge at Gala Gallery from Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 8.30pm or on Sundays between 2.30pm and 8.30pm.